Grimsby Institute awarded AoC Beacon Award

Grimsby Institute awarded AoC Beacon Award

Staff and students at the Grimsby Institute are celebrating being recently awarded with the AoC Beacon Award for Higher Education in Further Education.

The Grimsby Institute was announced as winner of the award, which was presented by sponsors UCAS in a special ceremony at the Institute’s Gallery Restaurant, by Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills and Enterprise, at the AoC Annual Conference in Birmingham last year.

The Grimsby Institute won the award for its development of a Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Hospital and Health Care which has given access to non-traditional learners to a career in nursing. The aim is to ensure that learners do not have to start at the beginning for a nursing degree after achieving their FdSc.

The Institute offers a ‘year zero’ arrangement which takes entrants with no qualifications and gets them to Level 3 in one year meaning it is possible to go from no qualifications to obtaining a degree in five years. Learners spend two years at the Institute and transfer for the second half of their course to Hull University for the full nursing degree. An effective network of partnerships supports varied placements, some of which offer opportunities for students to take it further through volunteering.

Sue Middlehurst, Principal & Chief Executive of the Grimsby Institute Group, said: “We are thrilled with the announcement of this award for Higher Education in Further Education. The work that is currently being undertaken by the Grimsby Institute Group at the University Centre Grimsby (UCG) is offering people of all ages from our community, and further afield, the opportunities to study for a Higher Education qualification right on their doorsteps. This award is testament to the fantastic work of the staff at UCG and I am very proud of them all.”

Ellen Thinnesen, Assistant Principal – 16-19 & Higher Education at the Grimsby Institute Group, added: “UCG is offering a vast range of courses that are designed to meet the needs of employers in our region and prepare learners for a lifetime of employment. The FdSc in Hospital and Health Care is just one of many courses that we offer that are providing innovative academic solutions and to receive this recognition is fantastic.

“We have also been recently awarded Foundation Degree Awarding Powers by the Privy Council. This means we will be able to start validating our own Foundation Degrees from September 2014. UCG is truly going from strength-to-strength and it’s wonderful to think of the opportunities that lay ahead for our current and future learners.”

Kate Murray, Regional Relationship Manager (Yorkshire & Humber) for UCAS, the award sponsors, who presented the award to Sue Middlehurst, said: “UCAS sees the Grimsby Institute as one of our leading colleges in terms of Higher Education in Further Education. It’s particularly nice to come along and be able to reflect on a programme that is quite close to my heart, in terms of supporting non-traditional learners.

Developing a programme of this type and the amount of effort and support it takes is huge. UCAS sees this award as recognition of all that hard work and all of the staff at UCAS wishes to offer our congratulations to the Grimsby Institute and we hope to work even more closely with them in the future as we develop our Higher Education in Further Education strategy.